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Archive for the ‘taxation’ Category

Time to Cut Govt

by coldwarrior ( 44 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, government, Open thread, Politics, taxation at September 9th, 2015 - 7:00 am
By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 8, 2015 | 11:14 AM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – Those employed by government in the United States in August of this year outnumbered those employed in the manufacturing sector by almost 1.8 to 1, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were 21,995,000 employed by federal, state and local government in the United States in August, according to BLS. By contrast, there were only 12,329,000 employed in the manufacturing sector.

The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment numbers for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. In the first 50 years of the 76-year span since then, manufacturing out-employed government. But in August 1989, government overtook manufacturing as a U.S. employer.

That month, government employed 17,989,000 and manufacturing employed 17,964,000.

Since then, government employment has increased 4,006,000 and manufacturing employment has declined 5,635,000.

According to the BLS data, seasonally-adjusted manufacturing employment in the United States peaked in June 1979, when it hit 19,553,000. Seasonally-adjusted government employment peaked in May 2010, when it hit 22,996,000.

(However, government employment in May and June of 2010 was unusually high because of temporary workers hired to help conduct the decennial census. In April 2010, there were 22,569,000 government employees in the United States. That climbed to the peak of 22,996,000 in May 2010, then dropped to 22,740,000 in June, and returned to 22,659,000 in July 2010.)

There were more Americans employed in manufacturing in 1941 in the months leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor than are employed in manufacturing in the United States today, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This August, according to BLS’s seasonally adjusted data, there were 12,329,000 employed by the manufacturing sector in the United States. But back in August 1941, there were 12,532,000 employed by the manufacturing sector. By December 1941, the month of the Pearl Harbor attack, employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector had risen to 12,876,000.

The 12,532,000 employed in manufacturing in August 1941 equaled 1 manufacturing worker for each 10.6 people in the overall population (which the Census Bureau estimated at  133,402,471 in July 1941). The 12,329,000 employed in manufacturing in August 2015 equaled 1 manufacturing worker for each 26.1 people in the overall population (which the Census Bureau estimated at 321,191,461 in July 2015).

The 4,821,000 people employed by government in August 1941 equaled 1 for each 27.7 people in the overall population of 133,402,471. The 21,995,000 employed by government in August 2015 equaled 1 for each 14.6 people in the overall population of 321,191,461.

Of the 21,995,000 employed by government in August, 2,738,000 worked for the federal government (including 596,500 who worked for the Postal Service), 5,092,000 worked for state governments, and 14,165,000 worked for local governments.

State and local government employees include large numbers of people employed in education. Of the 5,092,000 who worked for state governments in August, 2,446,300 (or 48 percent) worked in education. Of the 14,165,000 who worked for local governments, 7,852,500 (or 55.4 percent) worked in education.

GOP Wants More Money From the Middle Class

by coldwarrior ( 117 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Open thread, taxation at July 29th, 2015 - 7:00 am

Yes, the GOP raising taxes. I have problems with that from both an economics level and from a moral level. First the Moral Level, the GOP should never be for raising taxes, period. But, they just love big government like the Democrats.

“The billions of dollars in lost sales tax is revenue badly needed by cash-strapped state and local governments to pay the salaries of essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance crews, and schoolteachers,” the NRF states.

Ummm….BULL! Cut spending! Failing that, try to raise taxes on the citizens in the state or local government. GO ahead, put THAT to a vote with your names on it state and local coward politicians.

Now for the economic reason against this tax:

The National Retail Federation (NRF) claims that states could collect an additional $25 billion in sales taxes annually if the legislation is passed, and argues that imposing the tax would help to promote business at traditional stores, create jobs, and provide tax revenue.

On-line purchases are already taxed at the same or higher level than those bought at a brick and mortar store. Here is how that works: A product is purchased by a person in PA from an on-line merchant in, let’s say, KY. (I just got an amazon package from Lexington so I will use that as an example). This retailer has a huge brick and mortar warehouse in KY that pays taxes on wages, energy, telecom/data, property, et cetera. Fine and dandy for KY but what about PA? They want taxes too.

Well, since this package is not part the tractor trailer load going from Walmart-distro to Walmart store, it is handled far more often by more people and creates taxes at a higher level. First, the package and goods are loaded into a box at Amazon, that act is taxed on the existence of the brick and mortar warehouse and workers involved. Then, it is handed off to a FedEx line haul driver in an 18-wheeler (gas/wage/tire/vehicle taxed) who drives it to the Hub in Louisville.

The Hub is enormous and generates a ton of tax revenue for KY/local. There the package is sorted and it goes to Columbus OH Hub where it is taxed en-route by deisel/truck/tire/wage taxes of the line-haul driver and his big rig. The sort Hub in Columbus generates a ton of tax revenue as well.

It then goes to PA, to the mini-hub in Pittsburgh where it is taxed again through wages/energy/ et cetera of the sort workers who place it on a delivery truck in that brick and mortar building. There it raises more tax revenue through gas/wages/vehicle et cetera taxes to get to my door. The delivery driver works and is paid to deliver, he then spends his money and is taxed on that. Without on-line sales his job does not exist. Without on-line sales, that mini-Hub has far fewer employees and PA/local gets far less tax money, so does everyone else down the line. When taxes are raised, the taxed action is penalized and occurs less often.

So, the jobs that the NRF and GOP want are part time retail jobs instead of full time transportation careers. That line-haul guy makes well over 50k a year not counting benefits, The mangers and support staff make pretty good coin too. The package-handlers range from 14-24 an hour and at UPS they get a great benefit package. A couple more clerks at Walmart gets you what in tax revenue?

Again the GOP tries to strangle the middle class. See, the thing is, they can’t send the transport jobs over to China….I suppose they could offer H1B visas to Pakistani taxi drivers to do line haul and package delivery….

Declining Middle Class Wages and Productivity

by coldwarrior ( 92 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Economy, Open thread, Regulation, taxation at July 6th, 2015 - 6:00 am

Good Monday Morning. The High Priests of the Dismal Science have attempted to answer a nagging a question that I have had. Why are Middle Class wages wages stagnant or receding since 1995? They get a good portion of the equation that I had not thought of…Productivity. They do miss the gorilla in the room…ever increasing government regulations that stifle innovation and gains in productivity.

Have a read and chew on it for a while.

Whatever Happened To Those Middle Class Income Gains?

By Isabel Sawhill

This year’s Economic Report of the President has an interesting analysis of the sources of the slowdown in income gains among the middle class. Given all the attention given to the issue of growing inequality, especially between those at the top and the other 90 percent you might think that was the major economic problem facing the nation. But no, it turns out that the biggest source of the slowdown is the poor performance of productivity since 1995 compared to the earlier postwar period.

The question the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) asks is what if productivity growth from 1973 to 2013 had continued at the rate of the previous 25 years from 1948-1973? The answer is that the typical household would have had an additional $30,000 in income. (CEA report, p. 33)

The CEA goes on to ask parallel “what if” questions about income inequality and female labor force participation. How much better off would the typical middle class household be if income gains had been broadly shared after 1973 and female labor force participation had not levelled off after 1995? These changes produce smaller effects on middle class incomes of $9,000 and $3,000 respectively. However, all three factors combined can explain a whopping $50,000 in income foregone by our typical family. In other words, these families would have almost twice as much income if it hadn’t been for the decline in productivity growth, the rise in income inequality, and the levelling off of female participation rates.

The very large role of slower productivity growth is surprising. After all, we have seen an explosion in technology fed by the increasing power of computers. Smart phones, driverless cars, computer-assisted design and manufacturing, robots, drones, and the innovations they have made possible should have boosted productivity smartly. But as Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Solow once quipped, ” You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” So what’s going on here?

According to the CEA, starting in 1973, labor productivity growth slowed dramatically to only 1.4 percent annually from its earlier pace of 2.8 percent from 1948-1973. (It has recovered somewhat over the last two decades but has not matched its earlier high levels.) They cite the exhaustion of pent-up innovations from World War II, reduced public investment, dislocations associated with a new international monetary system, and the oil shocks of the 1970s.

Other experts might add other factors to the list. Economist Robert Gordon believes that the technological breakthroughs of the late twentieth century cannot match earlier innovations such as those represented by electricity, cars, the telephone, and radio. It’s also possible that we have not yet seen the full effects of the computer revolution. My colleague, Barry Bosworth, has shown that a lot of productivity gains are occurring in the service sector and that it isn’t just capital deepening that is producing these gains. It is everything from better management to human capital investment and organizational innovation – all the things we cannot measure very well but which show up in the data as an unexplained residual.

In the meantime, the new technologies are contributing to growing income inequality. Because these technologies are replacing unskilled and even some medium-skilled jobs, we are left with the worst of both worlds – disappointing increases in productivity and declining opportunities for those without the education and skills to benefit from the new technologies.

The solution cannot be to slow down the pace of technology. It must be to encourage innovation, retrain workers, invest in the next generation, and help those dislocated by the changes. Yet we are not investing in research, in education, and in infrastructure in the same way we did in earlier decades. Taxes need to be reformed to provide greater simplicity, fairness, and growth. Policies such as paid leave, child care, and more flexible work places would encourage more second earners to join the labor force. Most innovation, to be sure, occurs in the private sector, but it has little incentive to invest as long as overall demand is constrained by policies that fail to mitigate financial instability or that are focused on short-term spending cuts in public investments combined with a longer-term explosion of consumption-oriented spending on the big entitlement programs. Until elected officials act to recreate these underpinnings of growth, any permanent improvements in middle class incomes are unlikely to be realized.

Isabel Sawhill is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution.  She co-directs the Budgeting for National Priorities Project as well as the Center on Children and Families.

Mars Attacks: Net Neutrality and a Very Dark Puzzle

by Mars ( 157 Comments › )
Filed under American Exceptionalism, Barack Obama, Blogmocracy, Business, Censorship, Communism, Cult of Obama, Economy, Education, Fascism, Free Speech, government, Guest Post, History, Liberal Fascism, Marxism, Political Correctness, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Socialism, taxation, Technology at February 27th, 2015 - 1:40 pm

I have been noticing for a very long time now that there seems to be a cohesive puzzle being assembled by the left in regards to the internet. Through time I’ve been able to pick up the pieces of this puzzle, but today with the imposition of new regulations under the guise of Net Neutrality the puzzle becomes much clearer. I believe that the Net Neutrality regulations are the “frame” of this puzzle. Here are some of the pieces of collected through the years, see if you can see the same picture I do.





And now the new Net Neutrality regulations.

Through speeches since his election Obama has referred to a Free and Open Internet constantly, with stress on the word free. Many time there have been references to poor people who can’t afford internet. This coupled with everything else I posted above paints a dark picture for the future. One of the stumbling blocks for the people who want everyone to have access to the internet has been the fact that the average paying customer has been offended at the idea of people getting “broadband” speeds for free while everyone else has to pay for them. By changing the definition of broadband, the FCC has just managed to open up a huge amount of speed variations that they can now force companies to give away while not calling them broadband.

Second, by reclassifying broadband the FCC can force companies to meet a minimum standard for broadband service, which will require a complete reworking of the internet infrastructure. Where will this money come from ? Well, I figure the government will suddenly appear to save the day the way they did with the banks. There will be massive strings attached. The worst part is this money they will be handing out will already have come from the companies themselves in the form of the new utility taxes and regulatory fees that come with Title II reclassification of a utility. (The speech writes itself, I can already see Obama pontificating on this very subject. “90% of this country are getting below broadband speeds,………. this is a problem,………… a problem that can only be fixed…. by investing in the American Infrastructure”. /insert applause from mindless drones./ “The people of this country…….. deserve better……….and I intend to see that that happens.” As we all know “investing in the American infrastructure is left speak for massive tax hikes.)

There is even more to this than my little conspiracy theory.

Net Neutrality is a horror story in it’s own right. Who here is old enough to remember the Ma Bell monopoly that the government created out of the depression and allowed to run wild until the late 70’s? Well here is someone who does. He’s a member of the FCC’s own commision, Commissioner Ajit Pai.


h/t Calo

In his oral dissent Commissioner Pai lays out exactly why this is such a dangerous set of regulations, and exactly what this means for the future of internet service. It’s not pretty, higher prices, slower speeds, less competition. It’s all there. And the best part? The regulations weren’t even written by the commission. The White House itself created a shadow FCC to write the rules they were going to impose. Here’s some of the people invited in to the White House to regulate the rest of us.

What the press has called the “parallel FCC” at the White House opened its doors to a plethora of

special-interest activists: Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public

Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking Chairman Wheeler’s

driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials. But what about the rest of

the American people? They certainly couldn’t get White House meetings. They were shut out of the

process. They were being played for fools.

And the situation didn’t improve once the White House announced President Obama’s plan and

“ask[ed]” the FCC to “implement” it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the

proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May. It differs so dramatically that even zealous net

neutrality advocates frantically rushed in recent days to make last-minute filings registering their concerns

that the FCC might be going too far. Yet the American people to this day have not been allowed to see

President Obama’s plan. It has remained hidden.

This brave commissioner and the other republican on the commission attempted to get this regulation put out in the public eye where everyone could see it and review what it actually entailed. They were rejected by the 3 socialists on the commission. Make no mistake this set of regulations came DIRECTLY from the White House. Once again the President is making rules where he does not have the authority to do so. As an interesting aside to this, within Commissioner Pai’s dissent he shows a whole bunch of evidence and statements detailing how this is going to destroy small ISP companies. Some of the ISP’s that are about to be destroyed…the very Municipal (ie government) ISP’s he was lavishing praise on not long ago.


To really see what is happening take a look at this thank you letter from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, one of the groups at the forefront of trying to impose Net Neutrality.


What makes this letter interesting is not it’s general obsequiousness but the fact that they acknowledge that there is a vague statement in the regulations that would allow the FCC to pretty much do anything it damn well pleased, up to and including censoring content. (This is the same statement the the EFF has been trying to get them to drop since the regulations were first discussed.) It should also be noted that a year ago when the Chair of the FCC was trying to put into place much more limited rules over Net Neutrality, the EFF itself stated that the FCC had NO AUTHORITY TO DO SO.

The fact remains that the Net Neutrality regulations were a great bait and switch perpetrated on those that pay little attention to what is actually going on. I hope the gamers and video streamers that have been worshiping this disaster enjoy their new slower, much more expensive internet plan. Our only hope at this point is that the courts act on this takeover. (I nearly said unprecedented but I would have been wrong. This is exactly the same as FDR’s takeover of the telecom industry in 1934.)

Strangely enough, probably the best statement on Net Neutrality comes from the Secretary General of the European People’s Party.

EUROPE GETS IN ON THE ACTION: The secretary general of the largest party in the European Parliament is adding to the chorus around net neutrality. Antonio López Istúriz-White of the center-right European People’s Party over the weekend chided President Obama for lambasting European regulations while at the same time calling for tough net neutrality rules from the FCC.

“The president’s position is riven with contradictions,” Istúriz-White wrote in a Financial Times op-ed. “He promotes burdensome regulations at home that could put the development of the Internet on ice in an attempt to protect one set of actors in the ecosystem. In another breath he calls on Europe to follow the very same successful U.S. model he wants to jettison to make life in Europe easier for that very same group of Over The Top players!”


Why indeed, does the President want to stifle progress and development at home, while promoting the opposite abroad?